Skip to comments.The latest Obamacare case was wrong to uphold Medicaid expansion—Part II
Posted on 08/30/2011 12:54:58 PM PDT by Veritas_et_libertas
On August 12, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit struck down Obamacares mandate that individuals buy insurance, but upheld the Medicaid mandates imposed on states. As I already have explained, the Medicaid ruling was wrong under the Constitutions original meaning. In this post, I explain why the ruling also is incorrect even under the modern Supreme Courts cases.
Those cases date to the 1930s, when the Court began to pretend that Article I, Section 8, Clause 1which grants the power to tax for the general welfarealso grants the power to spend for the general welfare. Today, therefore, courts and law professors often call the Taxation Clause the Spending Clause.
The modern Spending Clause cases allow Congress to authorize grants-in-aid to bribe states to undertake projects favored by Congress, but actually outside Congresss enumerated powers. Those cases also authorize Congress to impose extensive conditions (mandates) on those grants-in-aid. Although federal-state grant programs initially were small and targeted, like almost everything else about the federal government they have morphed into monstrosities of astounding size. By 2008, Federal Medicaid revenues alone (not counting state revenues) amounted to about 21% of the average state general fund budget. (The data on which this calculation is based are here.)
The Obamacare law requires states to expand their programs significantly or lose Medicaid funds. In doing so, it goes too far even for modern Spending Clause rules.
As outlined in cases such as South Dakota v. Dole (1987), those rules are:
(Excerpt) Read more at constitution.i2i.org ...